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Case Study: How Wellness Reset Days improves NHS Critical Care staff wellbeing

'Not an Away Day. A Reset Day.' - Lucile Allen-Paisant & Simon Thomas
Mindfulness, Wellbeing Workshops, Wellbeing Webinars, Wellbeing Consultancy, Wellbeing at Work, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Team exercises are core to resilience and wellbeing training

NHS workers are among the highest in need of wellness support, now more than ever. In a post-lockdown world, 92% of trusts are concerned about NHS staff wellbeing, stress, and burnout following the pandemic. Staff wellbeing policy can often be undervalued or overlooked, but is actually an essential part of creating a harmonious work environment. Happier, healthier staff make for a stronger, well-run workplace.

In 2021, Mind It joined forces with Optimus Team Learning to support 500 Critical Care NHS staff in prioritising their wellbeing with 17 total Reset Days.

This blog breaks down our case study: Wellbeing Reset Days for the Adult Critical Care team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Our mission, experts, the experience itself, and the results - filled staff wellbeing ideas to implement the benefits of mindfulness in the workplace.

Our Mission: Relax, Reset, Re-Energise NHS staff

'We believe that prioritising the health and wellbeing of frontline workers is a clinical necessity.' - Lucile Allen-Paisant & Simon Thomas

Our mission: Support 500+ Critical Care HS staff in prioritising their wellbeing.

  • The Adult Critical Care team was (and still is) the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis

  • The pandemic left heavy emotional and psychological damage

  • Across 7 countries, 48% of ICU staff showed signs of mental health conditions such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) from fighting COVID

Wellbeing strategies should be long-term. Why? Because mental health and wellbeing are ongoing concerns, not just one-time issues. A long-term wellbeing strategy ensures employees have ongoing support and resources to manage their wellness and keep stress, depression, anxiety, burnout, and PTSD at bay.

Our goal: Create experiences that enabled our guests to:

  • Feel and understand that leaders, colleagues, and the Trust acknowledged that they have gone the extra mile during the COVID-19 crisis;

  • Feel and understand that leaders and the Trust cared about them, value them, and want to thank them for their hard work;

  • Have the opportunity to reflect on the past and move forward.

Put simply: We wanted all the attendees to Feel valued, Experience a treat, and have the opportunity to Reset.

We joined forces to deliver the most impactful experience:

  • Lucile Allen-Paisant is the Director of Mind It and Founder of Leeds Wellbeing Week. Mind It designs and implements tailor-made wellbeing training courses, delivering impactful and uplifting wellbeing experiences to help people and organisations to thrive.

  • Simon Thomas is the Director of Optimus Team Learning. Optimus Team Learning offers transformational learning & development to individuals and organisations around the world.

Together with a team of Leeds-based experts delivering powerful experiences, we delivered this series of Reset Days which included Massage treatments, Team building activities, Laughter Yoga, Dance classes, Mindful walks... Combined, our experts have well-rounded skills and knowledge in mindfulness in the workplace, wellbeing consulting, and wellbeing practitioner training that’s perfect for a wellbeing strategy Reset Day.

The Reset Day: An uplifting wellbeing experience

Mindfulness, Wellbeing Workshops, Wellbeing Webinars, Wellbeing Consultancy, Wellbeing at Work, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
The team enjoyed their Reset Day at the Mansion, in Roundhay Park (Leeds)

A long-term strategy also helps to create a culture of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, promoting a supportive and healthy work environment for all employees.

With this in mind, the environment for wellness is just as important as the activities involved. We partnered with the most beautiful venue in Leeds: The Mansion, a Grade II listed building in Roundhay Park. The tailored wellbeing experience began with a VIP breakfast, ended with a cream tea, and book-ended by Leadership opening and closing messages.

The Reset Day offered hard-working staff a taste of indulgence and a sense of appreciation for all their sacrifice, contribution, and effort: 14% of attendees mentioned the setting and food were their favourite parts of the day!

In this beautiful setting, participants were able to step back, relax, and prioritise their wellbeing. They were invited to participate in individual and collective reflections on COVID experiences, shared with colleagues in small groups. They experienced deep gratitude for themselves and from others, from near and from far. They collaborated on an art project, working together to achieve a common goal and connect, and we commissionned a local Leeds artist to create a display that was hosted for a whole 6 months at Leeds City Museum and made the cover of the Yorkshire Post.

Mindfulness, Wellbeing Workshops, Wellbeing Webinars, Wellbeing Consultancy, Wellbeing at Work, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Arts and Crafts activities are great grounding tools to relax

We also created a safe and supportive environment for the Reset Day:

  • As trained Mental Health First Aiders we are mindful of our duty of care for all participants ;

  • We worked closely with the Adult Critical Care team’s psychologists to tailor the day to our guests’ emotional and safety needs;

  • We made a quiet space available at all times for peace and support as needed;

  • We worked with the Public Health Resource Centre in Leeds to gather and display relevant resources;

  • We created a Wellbeing Resource Hub specifically for the NHS Adult Critical Care Team of Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

A long-term wellbeing strategy allows for continuous monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the strategies, which allows for adjustments to be made as needed. 98% of respondents would recommend the experience of a Reset Day.

Our Results: NHS Staff were energised and empowered

'The day reminded me of what's important for my wellbeing.' - Nate Shearman, Senior Clinical Psychologist

Feedback is a powerful tool, which is why we collected feedback forms on the day to reflect on what the NHS Critical Care team got out of the Reset Day.

  • 49% of respondents mentioned that their key takeaway from the day was to prioritise self care;

  • 70% have had some form of positive lasting effect 4 weeks after their Reset Day;

  • The average Overall Day experience score was 8.8/10, and

  • Wellness scores increased an average of 31% on the day!

Respondent feedback included:

  • “It has been a wonderful day I didn’t realise I needed this.”

  • “The day had the right amount of meaningful activity to help wellbeing without being forceful or putting pressure on to engage in it.”

  • “For someone who’s always ‘wired’ it felt great to stop and take a breath.”

Add a Reset Day to your Wellness Strategy

The Reset Day took participants to viewpoints where they could see their worthiness of, and need for self-care. To be the colleague, partner, parent they want to be, requires them to look after themselves rather than over-sacrificing their own time, health, and energy for others.

Choosing to re-energise is an empowering yet alien place for many NHS staff to find, but this is where the wellbeing magic happens.

How could your strategy show staff that they are worthy of their own self-care?

At Mind It, we design, organise, and implement bespoke Wellbeing Days, just for you and your team. For more information or an initial chat, please get in touch with us:


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